The Empty Crib: A Letter to the Mama

Dear sweet mama,

Cherish that very word…mama, mom, mommy. Losing your child doesn’t take away that beautifully, courageously earned title. You are and will forever be your child’s mother.

It’s unfair isn’t it? You baked this bun in your oven, you went through the stages of pregnancy, you delivered this child into the world. How is it that now, after all of that, your baby isn’t nestled sweetly in your arms?

We’ve all heard the same phrases. “It’s better this way”, “This is God’s plan”, “Your baby is better now”, “Everything happens for a reason”, etc. These may all be true, that doesn’t make them easy to hear.

I wish so badly you didn’t have to know this feeling – the one that is fully enveloping you now. But whatever you are feeling, feel it. Feel all the feels because nothing good comes from avoidance or stuffing.

At times you may feel lost, desperately seeking a compass to guide you on this unimaginable journey. It may be hard for you to make and keep plans. Your day may start with a fresh face, complete with mascara, and end with all of it washed away by tears.

Hang in there.

Hang tight because if you allow it, beauty will rise from ashes. In different ways, shapes and forms, this will change you…it already has. If you let it, this can mold you into a better version of yourself.

How will you live on to honor the life of your child? Open your heart and be ready to accept the challenge.

Why isn’t there an instruction manual for this? Something to tell us how to feel, when to feel it and for how long. Perhaps it really is because each story is so unique, just like our little ones gone too soon.

You may feel as though no one you know fully understands what you are going through…no one gets it completely. That’s true. In the empty moments, the darkest and deepest ones…seek the One who does.

“Holy Spirit, you are welcome here,

Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere.

Your glory God is what my heart longs for,

To be overcome by your presence, Lord.”

Did you catch that? Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Ask Him to fill the void of your great loss. This will not and cannot be filled by family, friends, busyness, substances or even another child.

You may not understand His ways now or ever fully, but you choose to trust and keep the faith. Ask God to reveal purpose and meaning through the life and death of your child. Listen for it.

Discover what brings you comfort; coffee with a friend, journaling your thoughts, volunteering, exercising, cooking, etc. Avoid that guilty feeling for having time to do these things. I know it’s hard. Having this extra time is a direct result of the absence of your baby. So choose wisely and make it count.

Breath will escape you when you least expect it. You will see or hear something that overwhelms you and the hole in your heart seems to ache. Maybe your body is still fighting to produce milk and it maddens you that it just won’t stop without pain or inevitable mastitis. A baby gift shows up from some loving person who hasn’t yet heard that your baby passed. Every time you pass by the nursery in your home, you want it gone…but at the very same time, you don’t want that painful finality. It’s a week after the memorial service and the flowers are all starting to die…a reminder of one more thing in your life that you can’t force to stay alive.


Some days, the hits will come one after another. Then, you will go several days without tears. You may not wear a cast or be in a wheelchair, but a piece of you feels broken. Doctors heal broken bodies. Who heals the broken hearted?

God does.

Let time do its job. Healing is a process that has no timeline. Each heart takes an undefined amount of time to learn to beat in a new rhythm.

Sweet mama…I see you. You are fighting a courageous battle. Hold your head high, lift your chin up toward the Heaven where your child now waits for you.

Fight for your life, fight for the good and fight well.

Written for you with honor and respect.



3 thoughts on “The Empty Crib: A Letter to the Mama

  1. Thank you for your words. I needed to read them tonight. Today has been extremely hard. On feb 14th it will be 5 months since I held my sweet Robert. He was here for 5 years and now he’s gone. My heart and soul is broken.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this. I really needed to read it this morning. It’s been one month and one day since my sweet angel was born, and it’s been almost three weeks since he passed. My life is completely turned upside down and I have no clue how each day is going to be. All I can do right now is hold on to the promise that my little man in walking with Jesus and I’ll see him again.

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